The writer-director of Kanpesum Vaarthaigal, R. Balaji needs to be appreciated for trying to talk about the desire of some young Indians who want to escape the conservatism of Indian society and live in liberal, foreign countries. Yet, the substance of the film alone is not enough to make an engaging story. What matters is the shape this substance takes in the form of characters, story elements and the setting.

The protagonist of Kanpesum Vaarthaigal is Mahesh (Mirchi Senthil), who is a jobless youth playing in the local badminton circuit. After his father pulls him up for wasting his time, he gives up badminton and decides to leave for Singapore with the help of his friend, Appu Kutty (Murugadass). There he meets his millionaire cousin in a restaurant, who, as one would expect, insults him. This is the turning point in the film.

Deeply hurt by his cousin’s harsh words, Mahesh develops the rather bizarre ambition of becoming a citizen of Singapore and swears to do better than his millionaire cousin. He pursues his ambition in every way possible. He falls in love and wants to marry Janani (Iniya), who lies that she is a Singapore citizen, because, apart from liking Mahesh, she wants to get rid of her old lusting uncle (played by Nan Kadavul Rajendran). As the marriage plan goes kaput, he becomes a citizen of Singapore, just months after entering the country to work in a construction company, by breaking into Singapore’s highly competitive badminton team.

A quick Google search would have been enough for the writers to understand how the events in their story are highly improbable — only a handful of distinguished sportspersons have migrated to Singapore on the ‘Foreign Sports Talent Scheme’ ever since it was adopted in the 1990s. Yet, the protagonist Mahesh, who has played only at the district-level, easily breaks into the highly competitive Singapore badminton team after winning just one game, and fulfils his ambition of becoming a citizen of Singapore.

The producer of the film, R. Saravana Kumar has written the story while R. Balaji, who earlier produced Srikanth-Sangeetha starrer, Uyir, has penned the screenplay and directed this film.

Kanpesum Vaarthaigal is a classic example of how easily things can go wrong in a film, when two producers, who have largely ignored the need to research their subject matter, come together.

Kanpesum Vaarthaigal

Genre: Drama

Director: R. Balaji

Cast: Mirchi Senthil, Iniya, Murugadass, Nan Kadavul Rajendran

Storyline: The hero goes to Singapore for work and is desperate to become its citizen.

Bottomline: Forgettable fare.